ASSESSMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND TREND OF HEARING PROTECTION DURING ROUTINE FIRING AMONG TROOPS AT BAHAWALPUR GARRISON
Objective: To assess the knowledge and trend of hearing protection during routine firing among troops at Bahawalpur garrison.
Study design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at Bahawalpur in Aug 2015.
Material and Methods: This study was carried out in Bahawalpur Garrison in Aug 2015. Three hundred and eighty eight soldiers of an infantry unit were included in the study. Structured questionnaire were distributed among soldiers and information regarding the knowledge and trends of hearing protection during routine practice firing were gathered. The information included age, gender, education, use of ear protection measures
during routine firing, types of hearing protection techniques, reasons for not using protection measures (if any), availability of ear protection measures, knowledge about hearing protection from noise of firearms and feeling decreased hearing & tinnitus. The data gathered were assessed and analyzed with help of SPSS version 20. Simple descriptive statistics were used to express results in terms of frequencies.
Results: Out of 388 individuals under study, 136 used hearing protective measures regularly during routine firing, 103 did not use any measures and 149 soldiers used protective measures off and on (irregularly). Three hundred and fifty five individuals knew the association between noise and hearing loss but remaining 33 did not know about it. When asked about the measures to protect hearing from noise trauma of firing, 151 individuals
mentioned ear plugs/muffs and 237 mentioned cotton balls. When enquired about the efficacy of hearing protection during firing that whether they should be used or not, 316 responded in affirmative, 53 individuals replied in negative and 15 soldiers did not know about its efficacy. When enquired about the reasons of not using hearing protection, 264 soldiers said that they do not have the protectors, 96 individuals attributed it to inability to hear warning sounds, and 28 subjects said that it causes pain in ears.
Conclusion: The trend of hearing protection during routine firing was not satisfactory among troops, consequent to lack of adequate and optimum knowledge of fire arm noise induces hearing loss. Thus they should be educated to enhance their knowledge about hearing protection from fire arm noise and should be encouraged to use hearing protective measures during routine firing.